Synonyms and Using a Thesaurus

Synonyms and Using a Thesauraus

It may have been a little while since we last posted, but we’re still here! We’ve been busy writing blogs (just not for ourselves!), sorting cover letters, editing web content, developing an online brochure and proofreading guest blogs. We’ll be posting details of some of these projects soon, but in the meantime let’s talk about synonyms.

What exactly is a synonym, why would I use one and where can I find them? Here’s our lowdown on synonyms and using a thesaurus.

What’s a Synonym?

A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language, e.g. ‘joy’ is a synonym of ‘delight’. Or as Grammarly so humorously put it in their meme, “A word used in place of one your can’t spell”! We had to laugh at that one!

What’s a Thesaurus?

Apart from sounding like a dinosaur, a thesaurus is a reference book that lists words with a similar meaning (synonyms) in groups. Our favourite site is thesaurus.com – not only does it provide a comprehensive list of synonyms for your selected word, but it also lists the antonyms for your chosen word. And what’s an antonym you may ask? It’s a word opposite in meaning to another, e.g. good and bad, hot and cold. The site also gives you lots of other words that are related in meaning to your chosen word, plus useful and informative blogs, word facts and videos.

Why Would I Use a Thesaurus?

Using a thesaurus will provide you with so many more options to explain yourself and, more importantly, to show flare and originality in your written word. As writers, editors and proofreaders, at Red Pencil Edits, we use a thesaurus and synonyms all the time to add variety to the texts that we receive and to prevent over-use of particular words that we see over and over and over again.

But how many of us regularly use a thesaurus, or even consider using some new vocabulary to replace our trusted repertoire? I can remember having a thesaurus at school and all I thought was that it was even bigger and heavier than my dictionary, so it was relegated to the bookshelf. Of course, now we have access to a plethora of online thesauruses (or thesauri for the purists!), to provide us with synonyms galore!

So why not give synonyms a chance and have some fun with your writing! Or, of course, get in touch and let Red Pencil Edits do it for you!

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Author: Charlotte Mccarthy
Charlotte McCarthy has been proofreading and writing for over 20 years. Her current focus is in the Travel, Leisure and Lifestyle sectors, working with clients to improve their online content. Charlotte is a regular blogger for a wedding planning service, as well as for her own business. As a qualified ESL teacher, she also provides her clients with practical advice on English usage and the common errors to avoid.

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